Americans Spend $33.9 Billion on CAM

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Mar 16, 2010

Mind-Body-Spirit News

In a 12-month period, Americans spent $33.9 billion out of pocket on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), according to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, the results of which were released in 2009. In the year prior to the poll, Americans spent an estimated $22 billion on self-care costs, such as products, classes and materials (mostly supplements). In addition, U.S. adults spent $11.9 billion on an estimated 354.2 million visits to CAM practitioners, such as acupuncturists, chiropractors and massage therapists, among others.

To put these figures into perspective, the amount Americans spent on CAM practitioner visits was equal to approximately one-quarter of the total out-of-pocket spending on physician visits during the same time period.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) released these figures. For more information, go to

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at